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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Pennisetum setaceum - crimson fountaingrass

Synonyms: Pennisetum ruppelii, Phalaris setacea

Other Common Names: tender fountaingrass

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Introduced    Season: Cool and Warm
Habitat Description: Found in disturbed areas.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 4000 feet

General Description

Desc: A densely tufted annual or perennial grass with wiry leaves and erect stems.
Identification notes: Bunchgrass up to 4 feet tall; blades arching and 2 feet long with noticeably thickened mid-veins, reddish, narrow, outward rolled or folded; seedhead is spike-like, 1 foot long, pinkish to dark red in color; conspicuously hairy bristles below spikelets.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): Y  Bushy (highly branched): Y
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Mar - Dec

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Greater than 1 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedheads are 3 to 13 inches long, 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide, erect or arching, and pink to dark burgundy in color. Seedhead stem is hairy. Spikelets are purple with whitish hairs on the stalks.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Convolute  
Blade Notes: Blades are 8 to 26 inches long, 1/10th inch wide and rolled up longitudinally or folded, Blades are smooth on top with stiff hairs on the undersides. Midvein is noticeably thickened.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths are smooth or fringed with hairs on the margin; ligule is densely fringed with hairs on the margin.

Forage Value: Not available.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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